Founder and Executive Director
Richard Nelson is the founder and executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center. He currently serves on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Hopkinsville Community College Board, Kentucky Council on Environmental Education, and Pennyrile Christian Community Board. He served on the Trigg County Fiscal Court as magistrate from 2011-2014.
Richard’s previous employment includes: Field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jamestown, ND; Research Assistant in the Wisconsin State Capitol; Policy Analyst for Family Research Institute of Wisconsin; Field Representative and Policy Analyst with the Family Foundation. He graduated with a triple major BS in biology, wildlife management and resource management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1992 and earned a Master of Arts in public policy from Regent University in 1995. He is certified by the Wildlife Society as a wildlife biologist and certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a secondary education teacher in environmental science.
Richard is an outdoors enthusiast and formerly ran an award-winning taxidermy studio in Cadiz, KY. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with his family at Land between the Lakes. Father of three girls and a boy, he resides in Cadiz on Honeysuckle Cave Farm.
Director of Church Outreach
Bob is the Director of Church Outreach for the Commonwealth Policy Center. He graduated from Morehead State University with a BA in Communications and is a former member of the United States Karate Team. Bob has served on numerous community and professional organizations including `The Kentucky Press Association Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Christian Academy, in Shelbyville, KY. More recently, Bob was Co-Host of Good News Today, a Christian TV Show based in the Louisville market. Some of his previous roles include Publisher & President of the Georgetown News-Graphic, VP & Executive Director of the National Limousine Association, and Area Director of the Louisville Athletic Club. Bob has over 30 years of successful management and operations experience, and he has served in numerous leadership positions in a variety of industries, including for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Bob is a member of Simpsonville Baptist Church and enjoys spending time with his family and his rescue dog, Blue. He also loves going to the beach, volunteering, exercising, cooking and watching the Kentucky Wildcats. He and his wife, Caroline, have lived in Simpsonville, KY for nearly 20 years. Bob has two sons, Luke and Zach, and two daughters, Kristin and Katie.
Director of Content and Engagement
Ben Taylor is the Director of Content and Engagement at the Commonwealth Policy Center. He attends Southland Christian Church with his wife Kate. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2017 and has been with CPC for just under two years. He currently serves on the Kentucky Consumers’ Advisory Council.
Ben runs the day-to-day operations at CPC’s Frankfort office, directs CPC’s engagement efforts, and spearheads our content development. His work in policy analysis has been used by legislators and expert witnesses in Kentucky Senate committee hearings and has been used to support arguments on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives. He has played a direct role in the passage of conservative legislation working side by side with our legislators on research and legislative models. Ben also works on CPC’s videos, photos, print pieces, and other media. Ben would say his main role at CPC is keeping Richard from going crazy.
Ben and his wife reside in Lexington, where they spend most of their time hiking, socializing at coffee shops, and playing board games with friends. Ben is a sports enthusiast and is an avid supporter of the Kentucky Wildcats, Denver Nuggets, and Carolina Panthers.
Jenny Bennett is the Administrative Assistant of the Commonwealth Policy Center. She graduated with a BS in Graphic Communications Management from Murray State University in 2003.
Jenny resides in Lawrenceburg, KY with her husband Jonathan and two children, Bree and Owen Bennett. Outside of work, her favorite way to spend her time is drinking coffee, spending time with her her family and church, developing her skill in photography, and learning American Sign Language.